- Content creators who are either "digital trailblazers" with 1 million to 19.9 million social media followers or "emerging voices and rising stars" with 250,000 to 999,000 followers outperform both celebrities — those with 20 million or more followers — and microinfluencers — individuals with less than 250,000 followers — according to new research by Fullscreen and Shareablee made available to Marketing Dive.
- Engagement levels were 0.66% for digital trailblazers and 0.60% for emerging voices compared to 0.40% for celebrities and 0.35% for microinfluencers, the groups said. The survey of 1,200 millennials and Gen Zers age 18-34 also found that 38% of those engaging with influencers trust what influencers say about a brand over what a brand says about itself. Trailblazers had the highest level of trust at 45%. Digital creators overall were found to be more trusted than celebrities with 32.4% trusting trailblazers, specifically, because they resemble their friends.
- Forty-two percent of respondents reported trying a product recommended by an influencer, and 26% said they purchased a product based on a recommendation. Among those who engage with microinfluencers, 45% were more likely to try something recommended, while those who engage with digital trailblazers were more likely to purchase at 30%. Users who engage with celebrities were the least likely to try something recommended by the influencer or to purchase.
Influencers and digital content creators are a growing area of interest for marketers, and the new Fullscreen and Shareablee research points to a sweet spot businesses should look for when picking their partners. Millennials and Gen Zers have previously expressed indifference toward big-name celebrity endorsements, but the findings around microinfluencers are interesting and suggest that going too small in terms of audience size can also hinder performance. Settling on more mid-tier and emerging talent might strike a better a balance between the two areas for marketers looking to boost trust and engagement and even drive purchases.
Nearly 40% of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2018, with most planning to spend $25,000 to $50,000 on multi-faceted strategies, according to Linqia research. Marketers should take note of Fullscreen and Shareablee's finding that millennials and Gen Zers are more likely to trust what an influencer says over a celebrity endorsement or traditional branded message on social media. Fifty-three percent of survey respondents believed digital creators craft content that's interesting and useful content for their fans and for self-expression.
Platform fit is another area to keep in mind. When it comes to content types, 8% of trailblazers and 3% of emerging voices' video posts were shared on YouTube, compared to 1% of celebrities and less than 1% for microinfluencer On Instagram, 23% of celebrity posts include videos, higher than trailblazers at 11% and microinfluencers at 5%.